How Does Listeria Get Into Ice Cream?

March 17, 2015 4:50 PM

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The deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has killed three people in Kansas has been linked to Blue Bell ice cream. When most people think of food poisoning, they think of undercooked or raw meat or eggs. How does a supposedly innocuous product like ice cream become contaminated with pathogenic bacteria?

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria are everywhere in our environment. These bacteria live in soil and water. Animals carry the bacteria and can transfer it to our food though feces, through dirty irrigation water, and in food harvesting and transport.

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